Laptops offer the power of a PC wherever you go, from the other side of the country to the other side of the couch. But sometimes you want a desktop for a bigger display, a larger keyboard, and a beefy mouse. Here’s how to turn your laptop into a pseudo desktop. Any Laptop Can Transform Into a Desktop Transforming your portable PC into something more permanent is easy with a few cables and the necessary peripherals. The best part is that your laptop doesn’t have to remain tethered to your workspace, and any time you need to get on the move, just disconnect the cables and you’re good to go. Let’s go through the basics of a DIY setup to get on the road to big-screen glory. What Do You Need From a Laptop? The first question people often have is whether their laptop can handle driving all those peripherals, including a larger screen. The answer for most people is almost always yes. Even something as old as an Intel Sandy Bridge CPU can work. All that counts is that the PC has … [Read more...] about How to Turn a Windows Laptop Into a Desktop PC
All Windows 10 PCs have “Game Mode” enabled by default. Microsoft once touted this feature, but it’s now faded into the background. Bizarrely, some people report that disabling Game Mode boosts the performance of certain PC games! What Does “Game Mode” Do on Windows 10? First introduced in Windows 10’s Creators Update , which was released back in April 2017, “ Game Mode ” promises to boost the performance of many PC games. Here’s the official description: Microsoft says that Game Mode “helps achieve a more stable frame rate depending on the specific game and system.” Technically, it works by detecting games and giving them priority access to your computer’s resources. The game you’re focused on playing gets more CPU and GPU resources, while other applications and background processes get fewer resources. This only works if Windows 10 detects that you’re playing a game. Microsoft’s limited explanation of Game Mode also says that, in Game Mode, Windows Update won’t … [Read more...] about Did You Know? Windows 10 PCs Have “Game Mode” on by Default
You might not realize it, but every time you purchase a new desktop CPU, you also get a ticket for a giveaway called the “silicon lottery.” Two CPUs of the same model can perform differently when pushed to their limits thanks to something called “CPU binning.” What Is Binning? Binning is a sorting process in which top-performing chips are sorted from lower-performing chips. It can be used for CPUs, GPUs (graphics cards), and RAM. Say you want to manufacture and sell two different models of CPU: one that’s fast and expensive, and another that’s slower at a bargain price Do you design two different models of CPU and manufacture them separately? Why bother when you could just use “binning?” The manufacturing process is never perfect, especially given the incredible precision necessary to produce CPUs. When you’re manufacturing those speedy, expensive CPUs, you’ll end up with some that just can’t run at the top-end speeds. You can then tweak these to run at slower speeds and … [Read more...] about What Is “Binning” for Computer Components?
Microsoft’s 21H2 update will debut in the second half of 2021. This is a bigger update with more new features and follows the 21H1 update planned for Spring 2021, which is focused on stability and polish. This article is up-to-date with the latest changes as of Windows 10 Insider build 21313 , which was released on February 12, 2020. No Guarantees! As usual, Microsoft offers no guarantee that these features will appear in the final version of 21H2. They’re currently in the development builds of what will become the 21H2 update, but Microsoft may pull these features and spend more time working on them—or never release them. With that in mind, let’s look at what Microsoft is working on. RELATED: What's New in Windows 10's 21H1 Update, Coming Spring 2021 Weather and News on the Taskbar Microsoft is adding a “News and Interests” pane to the taskbar. You’ll see the local weather to the left of your notification area icons on the taskbar. Click it and you’ll … [Read more...] about What’s New in Windows 10’s 21H2 Update, Coming Winter 2021
Anybody looking for serious graphics power needs to have a graphics card from AMD, NVIDIA, or (someday soon) Intel. Not everyone wants that kind of power, however, especially when it comes at a price tag of $150 to more than $1,000. How Good Are Integrated Graphics? So what do you do if you aren’t interested in shelling out for a graphics card, but you’d still like to play the occasional session of Civilization VI or The Witcher 3 ? All is not lost. You can get usable, or sometimes even outstanding, performance from your CPU’s built-in or integrated graphics. It all depends on which games you want to play , what graphics settings you can accept, and how old your CPU is. Gaming is the main thing you need to be concerned with here. Integrated graphics will work just fine for most other typical uses of a PC. There are professional tasks that rely on a system’s GPU, too. These include video editing, graphics rendering, and GPU-accelerated computing with standards like … [Read more...] about When Are Integrated Graphics Good Enough on a PC?